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The potential use of <sup>241</sup>Am as proliferation resistant burnable poison in PWRs

Ronen, Y and Golyand, L and Shwageraus, E (2010) The potential use of <sup>241</sup>Am as proliferation resistant burnable poison in PWRs. Annals of Nuclear Energy, 37. pp. 201-207. ISSN 0306-4549

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This paper discusses the use of Am as proliferation resistant burnable poison for light water reactors. Homogeneous addition of small (as little as 0.12%) amounts of Am to the conventional light water reactor fuel results in significant increase in Pu/Pu ratio in the discharged fuel improving its proliferation resistance. Moreover, Am, admixed to the fuel, acts as burnable absorber allowing for substantial reduction in conventional reactivity control means without a notable fuel cycle length penalty. This is possible due to favorable characteristics of Am transmutation chain. The fuel cycle length penalty of introducing Am into the core is evaluated and discussed, as well as the impact of He production in the fuel pins and degradation of reactivity feedback coefficients. Proliferation resistance and reactivity control features related to the use of Am are compared to those of using Np, which has also been suggested as an additive to the conventional fuel in order to improve its proliferation resistance. It was found that Am admixture is more favorable than Np admixture because of the smaller fuel cycle length penalty and higher burnable poison savings. Addition of either Np or Am would provide substantial but not ultimate protection from misuse of Pu originating in the spent fuel from the commercial power reactors. Therefore, the benefits from application of the concept would have to be carefully evaluated against the additional costs and proliferation risks associated with manufacturing of Np or Am doped fuel. Although this work concerns specifically with PWRs, the conclusions could also be applied to BWRs and, to some extent, to other thermal spectrum reactor types. © 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. 241 241 238 241 241 241 241 237 241 237 237 241 237 241

Item Type: Article
Divisions: Div A > Energy
Depositing User: Cron Job
Date Deposited: 17 Jul 2017 19:15
Last Modified: 10 Apr 2021 02:25
DOI: 10.1016/j.anucene.2009.11.002